May 4, 2019
do you ever go through hard seasons? maybe that’s even too much of a churchy thing to ask – to ask about “seasons”…but church aside, I’ve always looked at life in seasons. I think describing life in seasons helps me balance the hard knowing that in a short time or “season” (because seasons don’t last forever), that a good season is set to arrive if I can just weather through the hard season.
combine that season thought with the as-of-late compulsion to fight back against the seemingly perfectly captioned highlight reel that instagram/blogging typically allows for and aspire to tell real stories + thoughts and at least be honest if not even a little transparent. so to be honest, this year has felt like one long hard season so far. granted it’s dotted with fun things/people/events/goodness, but internally I feel like I’ve been trudging up the last 1000′ of a colorado mountain in the rain and my boots are covered in mud. (how’s that for a description?!) 😉 but thankfully I’ve learned that when a hard season seems to linger, that when I have to dig in and work harder at speaking truth to myself because if I don’t my emotions will work to derail and overwhelm me.
so my truth(s) for this week?
truth is that I have a God who loves and pursues me. a lot of people thank God at music award shows and they might mean their thanks. but when I say that I have a God who loves and pursues me and I’m thankful, that truth has weight and will forever center me. it’s what my heart chases after the most. yes, I most obviously fail. a-freaking-lot. claiming that truth doesn’t mean perfection by any stretch of the imagination. but I’m chasing because I crave truth…truth about my need and truth about a God who loves me and that has to change how I then live with that truth.
my friend who is a pastor said these two things this week: “we have two fixed realities in this story (jonah): 1, we have a tendency to resist the authority of God.” and 2, “there is a tendency in God to chase us = grace.”; and “we all want the experience of significance but not of sacrifice.” I do have a tendency to resist God’s authority. it’s counter-culture to rest + find purpose in God’s way…but in my almost 30 years in walking (okay a lot of stumbling) after His ways I have 100% found peace and rest and goodness when I stop resisting and start chasing life His way. and the cool part about God, is that even when I’m resisting (let’s be honest, full tantrum/kicking/screaming/flipping Him off with my heart) He’s still chasing me. I will forever be in awe of His grace and love and care for me. and the second statement my friend made this week was in regards to being a servant and your why in serving. I admitted to my small group table this week I’ve been on the struggle bus with serving as of late and need prayer. not externally, no, the longer you do “church” unfortunately the more second nature it becomes and the awful truth is you can serve and have your heart be far. no, my struggle has been internal and I’ve let others and circumstances rob some of my joy leaving me with a very “older prodigal brother” attitude in it’s wake. for me to serve well, I need to almost imagine a mental/emotional cylinder that goes just between me + God. if I get caught up in looking too hard at who I am serving with (or not), in what’s being said about me or others and even too caught up in the people I am serving, I stop seeing the WHY behind I’m serving. I’m serving others because Jesus served me and showed me unreal grace – I aspire to live the rest of my life serving others as He did me. to avenger-fy this thought a little – black widow said this “I’ve got a ledger full of red and I’d like to wipe some of that out.” now that’s skewed a little cause only Jesus can wipe out sin and make things new again, but the attitude of active gratitude is there and I can appreciate + aspire after that.
another truth is that I’ve gotten a front row seat to some seriously cool students lives for almost 24 years and have gotten to see God move in others lives in some pretty radical ways. first thing I’ll say about that truth is that if you want to see God move in radical ways, you’ve got to put yourself in the path of where God moves in radical ways. for me that has been in student ministries as a leader since I was 17 years old. I’m always astonished when grown-ups act like they can’t be a part of student ministries…quit acting like an insecure middle-schooler and jump in if you want to see God move in extra-ordinary ways. I get the argument: “I’m too busy.” trust me, I’m always “busy” and have even raised two kids while serving/playing/etc/all while being “busy”. there will always be an and and and that can make you more busy…but for me, the benefit of sidelining that “and” is getting that front row seat to seeing radical movement and that has always out-weighed “the and of busy“. and in return I have gotten to not only witness first-hand some pretty radical heart-movement but I’ve also gotten to claim as my own some pretty incredible same-heart-beat friends. most definitely with some of the people I serve with. I’m thankful that I’ve always had a handful of ladies who get it and me and in return me to them. they get that we’re hear to serve, but they also get the one-another’s and actively choose to link hearts with mine as we get to go and serve together. that alone is good, but even more I’ve also gotten to be friends with more than a few students that go the distance in crossing over from student to friend. in this week alone I’ve gotten to work along side and be encouraged and served diet coke from a student/friend, I’ve gotten to sweat to a pretty entertaining aerobic body combat class that I laughed at more than worked out at with a student/friend, I’ve gotten sit for breakfast talking about ginormous God dreams with a student/friend, and just last night I got one of the first phone calls from a student/friend letting me know she had just gotten engaged and wanted me to be one of the first to know. that’s some pretty radical/cool/humbling/amazing truth that I’ve gotten and continue to get to be a part of.
and my last truth is to remember for this week is that quite honestly, I have a pretty incredible life filled mostly with love and encouragement and truth and good things if I’d just slow down and take off the glass-half-empty glasses and focus on that truth.
I’m thankful we sang this song this week:
“as far as heights reach from the depths, as far as east is from the west…so far Your grace has carried me. until I see You face to face, until at last I’ve won my race, remind me You’re not finished yet…You’ve been so so good to me, I’ll live in remembrance.”
I’m clinging to these truths this week.
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